Jason Heyward started his major-league career, at age 20, with a Cubs connection: he homered in his first big-league at-bat off Carlos Zambrano on Opening Day 2010, April 5 in Atlanta.
To this day, six seasons later, Heyward's 2010 home-run total of 18 is his second-best and the .849 OPS he posted that year is his career-best.
For someone as highly touted (Atlanta's No. 1 pick, 14th overall in 2007), Heyward has to be seen as somewhat of a disappointment. Injuries have kept him from 150-plus game seasons a couple of times, and even in 2015 when he did play 154 games for the Cardinals, his numbers were very, very good but not great: .293/.359/.439 (.798 OPS, 116 OPS+, 6.5 bWAR).
Quite a bit of Heyward's WAR value comes from his defense, which is outstanding in right field. He's got one of the best arms in baseball and his defensive numbers have been excellent for his entire career.
I'm here to tell you the Cubs should not sign Jason Heyward, despite the fact that he just turned 26 (he's one day younger than Anthony Rizzo).
Why? Well, part of it is because of that age. In modern baseball, players like Heyward have sometimes been signed to long-term deals that buy out some of their arb and free-agent years (think about the Mike Trout contract, for example). That didn't happen with Heyward, which is why the Braves traded him to the Cardinals, to get some value from him since they didn't appear interested in signing him long-term.
The Cubs have a young right fielder who, if he stays healthy, could put up numbers similar to Heyward's. Jorge Soler just has to stay on the field. I think that's a chance worth taking, because signing Heyward is going to likely take an eight-year deal that could approach $200 million in overall value. Heyward has played some center field, but not very much: only 32 games.
Signing Heyward, for whatever team does it, will be done by a GM who just wants the shiniest toy in the box, no matter the cost. To me, this seems like the Yankees signing Jacoby Ellsbury, who has given them one decent year and one injury-filled year... and they still have to pay him for five more years. Do you think the Yankees got good value out of that signing? I don't.
No question, Jason Heyward is a very good player. I'd rather save some of the money that would be lavished on him and pay guys like Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Jake Arrieta and Addison Russell.Since Heyward money is likely to be a silly amount, the poll here is a simple yes or no.